Vintage Claud Butler 531 Road Bike Restoration


Hello and welcome to another bike and another Restoration This is a Claud Butler it dates back some 135 years well the company does so a lot of history there it started off in 1928 when Claud Butler who was worried about using his own name within the brand opened a cycle shop with the success of that he then went on to open many shops across town he then went on to produce and manufacture his own frames Very Proud to be British he then exported these bikes all over the world and with a lot of racing success and yes very beautiful frames famous for the bronze and fancy lug work on the frames and very Beautiful bikes unfortunately after the second world war the company took a financial dip and the Holdsworth company in 1957 actually took the company over from there the Falcon name which we have covered took over the Holdsworth company in 1987 and they are still producing the Claud Butler range of bikes to the current day Unfortunately in 1978 Claud passed away but his name still lives on in these bikes So, regards to our bike what have we got here we have got a 531 tubing frame, actually forks and frame and also what is unusual and nice its got the Suntour running gear which has gone out of production now so Suntour Cyclone Mk2 Rear and front mech We’ve got a really unusual crank its got a very small crain ring for its time with a larger one there as well its got dual pivot brakes and we have also got a lovely Brooks Saddle which looks very original What I have noticed and what I thought was really nice is that the handle bar stem has got an embossed Claud Butler logo on the stem itself Campagnolo gear levers and its got some lovely large flanged hubs on the wheels which look original The tyres are in good order so we are going to keep them but what we generally do is to have a good look is to strip the bike down as we always do and we are going to take it from there, so lets get a move on with taking the bike apart and start cleaning lets get moving! OK great well there is the bike all stripped down it has been a bit of an unusual one I did have a little bit of trouble extracting the crank and the pedal arm off the spindle itself generally we will just use a simple took like this what happens is is that this screws into the pedal arm or the crank and then this is tightened up and the bolt pushes the crank off the spindle However on this one the thread on the Crank and the Pedal arm was about 1 mm wider than the the tools thread so what we have had to use is which is a bolt extraction tool this one was for the pedal arm just fits onto the back pedal arm and then this just screws into there and then for the Crank this was a clamp that clamps around it and then tightened into the bolt which extracted the Crank off undamaged and in need of a really good clean and a polish as usual, so lets get a move on with that and take it from there Well, we are finally here the best part of the project which is the rebuild we have done a lot of polishing but it has been a pleasure to do the old equipment cleans up so well and it is sparkling Not had to buy to many items for this build but what I did buy I could not resist the first one was a canvas roll up tool bag just fits really well with the Brooks Saddle the Saddle has cleaned up really well as well just used a polish on that Black polish just rubbed it in lovely leather so just worked the leather back and its cleaned up really well the canvas bag just holds a inner tube and a multi tool just fits in really well and sits well with the time period of the bike the other thing Ive just bought a light bracket for the folks its got the bolt there so just like to put that back on but really impressed with just how the metal work has cleaned up and just loving the detailing on the handle bars and also the stem as I say it has the embossed Claud Butler logo there but a lot of detailing and they are gleaming so all thats left to do now is get this bike back together OK brilliant well theres the bike all complete it looks absolutely stunning it has been a pleasure to work on and intesting with all the old cable guides and the centre pull brakes so yes its all back together and working beautifully as if like new I can never resist but the finishing touches I did buy a couple of more items first one was a vintage water bottle Very in keeping so pop that in there and the other one you can not go anywhere with out this we have got our tool kit on the back there but the other one is a pump very in keeping we have got a couple of lugs i had noticed so managed to get hold of a nice Crome Retro Pump all still working pop that in there Fantastic, it looks beautiful and stunning all that is left to do now, is to get it out and try it out! Well this has been the Claud Butler project and what a project it has been I am very impressed with this one I feel as though we have gone completely full circle with the gears we have got a nice compact chain ring on the front and we have got a really nice range of gears on the back and just feel its a really nice bike to ride I do not know if many of you have ridden a Brooks Saddle these are so comfortable it is unbelievable so what a beautiful ride it is loving the detailing on the stem and handle bars and the centre pull brakes I always like them things Campagnolo gear levers and yes it just looks a really beautiful thing and just very happy that we have done it and I am sure Claud Butler would of been very happy with seeing this project if you do enjoy watching these videos as I always say please subscribe we have got a phenomenal project ahead of us which is the Colonago Master it is taking a little longer than anticipated but i really do think its like a piece of art so if you want to hang around for that one and many more like this Then please Subscribe Other than that Thanks for watching! and Bye for now!

82 Replies to “Vintage Claud Butler 531 Road Bike Restoration”

  1. As always brilliant resto job. Interesting bottom bracket tools. Love the added touch of the CB on the stem. Anticipating the Colonago build!!! : )

  2. The cranks probably take a Stronglight (23.35mm) or TA Specialties (23mm) size puller versus a common 22mm puller. Ahh, saw the TA logo. There you go.

  3. Do you have any Informations about Meral (old French Manufactioner) I am building one at the Moment but there is not much Information of the Company on the Internet. Great Videos! Greetings from Germany

  4. Those TA Cranks had a nasty habit of breaking at the Section where the Pedal was threaded in . normally when you had maximum pressure on ! ok with french Lyotard pedals. Campags always best to get them tapped out 1st.. I have the original TA extractor. . yep diff size to the shimano campag stuff.. Nice project. love a bit of nice 70s retro.

  5. Love watching these videos . . . I've just restored a mid '80s Cinelli with a Campagnolo 50th Anniversary groupset. It goes well with my mid '60s Urago which I restored twenty odd years ago with all the full Campagnolo equipments I couldn't afford when I bought the frame new in 1965. Keep 'em coming . . . looking forward to seeing the Collage!

  6. Hi,Really liked your claud built one myself a year ago,the GB stems were very popular on many older bikes it stands for the maker Gerry Burgess.

  7. Very nice restoration Andy! a great job as always just a beautiful bike again…
    Cheers!

  8. what is the name of the chrome foil to protect the frame getting beat up by the chain? in between I love your vids they are so inspiring thx

  9. hi Andy great vid as usual nice bike and your right about Brooks saddle I have one on an old viking and it's so comfy. Chris

  10. So do you think it came with the suntour derailleur and campag levers combo originally or do you think something was swapped out at some point?

    Also you said the stem had a GB logo on it. What was the logo on the handlebars?

  11. Great rebuild as usual. I'm intrigued how you managed to refurb the chrome on the chainstay.
    Looking forward to seeing the Colnago in all its glory!

  12. Excellent restoration. That is a beautiful bike. I love those shots of you riding it at the end, a bike like that is to be ridden and enjoyed. I think Brooks saddles are very comfortable but it takes 200 miles or so before they soften up a bit. A tip for applying Brooks Proofide to the saddle is to use a hair dryer. Melt it in.

  13. Hello, Andy! Nice work you did 😀 Interesting story behind this bicycle!
    I have two questions: -> Is there any practical difference between wrapping the handlebar tape from the top to the bottom or vice versa? and… -> How many teeth has the small chainring?

  14. I love these videos, particularly the background info on the frame/bike manufacturer. I know you refer people to RJ the Bike Guy's page for maintenance/repair tips; could you do a video on what to look for when inspecting a frame you're thinking of buying? For example, how can you tell if a frame is bent, what problems might you find on an old frame? All the best, Geoff.

  15. Very nice job. This bike is similar to my Grubb. If there's one thing which always let it down, it was the crappy Weinmann centre-pull brakes. For decades, it was impossible to find anything with a drop long enough to replace them. A few years ago, I got a pair of Alhonga dual pivot side pulls. I can only say that they are light years ahead in stopping power and look much smarter. I'd also fit a pair of decent full length chromoplastic mudguards such as SKS.

  16. Andy, I love all the history that you let us know about also. I just love seeing a grungy old thing brought back from the grave to be rehabbed and looking wonderful again! Thank you so much…please keep the vids coming….oh yes, I want to see the Colnago too!!!

  17. Andy, I just subscribed to your videos, and this is the first youtube comment I've ever made.
    Your excellent videos have inspired me to try this myself, I've restored a 1972 Raleigh Sprite 27 5speed using your techniques, although I've modified it somewhat by painting the lugs and fork tips gold. Last week I purchased a 1981 Motobecane NomadeII and I spent 2 1/2 hours cleaning and polishing the front wheel! I am really enjoying every minute I spend with these beauties and I'd like to thank you for your many tips and especially your inspiration! Keep up the good work and thanks again from Tennessee

  18. I had a Claud, in blue IMS, as well. It was a touring edition, with a rack and center pulls too. Nice to see a spot of Suntour as well.

  19. Hey really great videos you make, a pleasure to watch!
    I've got a little question. I recently bought an old peugeot bike, but it hasn't any breakes on it. The modern breaks have a too small lever distance like 49-51 mm, which doesn't fit at all.
    Can you tell me which breaks do you buy for the Road Bikes ?
    Thx a lot !

  20. hey Andy 🙂 i just wrote an email to you yesterday asking if anything new and now i found this one, great job despite the challenges with the arm removal, excellent going on cpolishing those chrome , metal parts congrats on another great restoration 🙂

  21. Thanks for the video. I really love Claud Butlers but they're hard to come by in the U.S. Hopefully I'll be able to do a restoration on one someday.

  22. Hi. I love these videos, am I right in thinking you did a video where you stripped the paint off a frame and repainted it?

  23. Great videos, absolutely love the vintage road bikes. I am having trouble finding any info on a bike I have, just curious about where you find info on the vintage bikes you build.

  24. Great video. I love the passion that you show and the enjoyment you get from restoring these beautiful old bikes.

  25. Nice job mate. I got a few of these retro 531s and they are turning heads and receiving good comments in the parks right now.

  26. Vintage TA cranks use 23mm extractors not 22mm which became the campagnolo / sakae / sugino standard. J. L. Stein of Arizona USA makes a 23mm / 23.35 mm combo extractor for.vintage TA and stronglight cranks. I think Park Tools might still sell a 23mm / 22mm tool. these small differences have ruined a lot of Stronglight and TA cranksets.

  27. bike is missing brake lever hoods, many generic gum (or maybe white with white bartape) models are available often for less than 8 pounds Sterling …

  28. that Reynolds 531 decal is pre-1974, so the cyclone mark 2 derailleurs are a little too new (1981) and they were aesthetically hated widely and only lasted 2 years .. being replaced by cyclone 6000

  29. Hey I have some bikes to restore and wondered how you did your time lapses – do you have a camera that supports time-lapse photography or do you simply videotape the entire restoration and then down-sample it in post-production (video editing)? Thanks.

  30. Hi Andy, I'm considering undertaking a project to restore a vintage cycle. Just had a few questions. Where do you usually find the bikes to restore? Is there anything I should really learn about before undertaking this, or can you sort of work with it​ as you go along – I don't really know things like how to find replacement parts/know what size they need to be or how things like forks, bars and cranks fit into the frame? Really enjoying your videos! Very inspiring! Toby

  31. a nother azaming bike were do you buy you bikes from they are azaming I would love to have a bike like that

  32. The bar stem is not claud butler it is stamped GB, This stands for Gerry Burgess and not Great Britain. I have also noticed you seem to call campagnolo, campagnolia? Other than that great video!

  33. Beautiful job! I recently acquired this same bike and I plan on refurbishing. Can you advise me on the different bench grinder wheels that you use to polish the stem? It might be helpful to post a video on how to polish bike parts. Thanks a bunch

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